Ireland fear Dutch, not Windies
BELFAST, Ireland (CMC):
Two-time former 50-overs champions West Indies may be the highest seeded side in the ICC World Cup qualifiers but they hold no terrors for minnows Ireland.
The Caribbean side have been installed in Group A of the March 4-25 tournament in Zimbabwe, alongside the likes of Ireland, the Netherlands, Papau New Guinea and the winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 tournament scheduled for next month in Namibia.
However, the Irish will bring with them the memories of their emphatic victory over the Windies at the last World Cup in New Zealand three years ago, and captain William Porterfield said they would be using this as motivation.
"We've got a good record against the Windies, beating them in the 2015 World Cup, so we'll take confidence from that," Porterfield said.
"The Netherlands have got some big players back in recent times, so they'll be tough, while PNG are improving all the time.
"We will be at full strength for the competition, so hopefully if we play to our potential we'll make it through to the finals and our fourth straight World Cup."
Ireland produced one of the upsets of the 2015 edition when they astonishingly chased down 305 to stun West Indies at Saxton Oval in Nelson.
Porterfield was a member of that successful team and key players from that squad like Niall and Kevin O'Brien, Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling, are still in the one-day set-up.